The final bit about Goals!

To recap the past two weeks I have been talking about setting goals. The first week was about how to identify goals from wanting to do better at a race or event. Following that, I talked about breaking down the event to quantify that which you want to do.

This week I would like to break it down one more level. Not only is it important to know how long you have to put out a certain effort; it is also important to know how to better train your muscles.

There are a few basic areas of concern when it comes to training your muscles. First is out right strength, this category is simply how much weight you can push or pull. Increasing out right strength is only important for a select few situations. An example would be if you were in a high gear and an attack occurred.  You will need  to be able to  respond to the attack. Another example is when gradients on a hill exceed 15% or more. Since these are very few and far between, muscular endurance is of more importance. muscular endurance is defined as being able to repeatedly exert a sub maximal force over and over again. These situations occur most often. During a prolonged effort, doing a 100 mile ride, or a sustained climb up a mild gradient. Another area to work on for muscle development is neuromuscular junction. This is more commonly refered to as muscle memory. developing muscle memory will enable you to spin at a high cadence more comfortably and being able to hold a gear for a longer period of time. These situations are more frequent than some may think. Think of after rolling down a hill, there is an uphill coming up. Instead of having to shift down only to shift back up, spinning effectively at a high cadence could just keep you in the same gear and be more ready for the hill. There are several other situations where high cadence is a useful tool, but to numerous to explain.

Given the above list of muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance and neuromuscular junction; it is important to match your goal with one or more of the training techniques for muscles.

Here is an example.  Last week we were looking at climbing Mt. Mitchel. For this goal I would want to train both muscular endurance and neuromuscular junction. I would want to train muscular endurance because climbing a big mountain requires producing a moderate amount of force on the pedals for two hours straight. To train this would be a mixture of being in the weight room and high force / low cadence on the bike. I would also train the neuromuscular junction to respond to variations in gradients during the climb. For instance Mitchel doesn’t just hold 6% constantly. there are brief changes that might be 5 or 4% Being able to stay in the same gear for 15-30 sec will help to keep a more even pace over the course of the whole climb.

So in summary of the past three postings; I have talked about how to be able to identify a goal from just saying  I want to do better. Breaking this goal down into understandable chunks for training. And finally talked about some underlying mechanics for better progress.

As Always,

Ride Hard!

For more information go to Achieve Coaching

Coach Jordan


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